Nevada has a goal of becoming the biggest eSports hub in the world and is taking steps towards that goal with the introduction of a new eSports bill SB 165. The aim of the bill is to regulate eSports tournaments and establish a state commission that will govern the eSports industry in Nevada.
R- Sen. Ben Kieckhefer is the sponsor of SB 165 which looks to take advantage of the lucrative and fast growing eSports market. The goal is to consistently host video game tournaments that will in turn allow eSports betting to take place at Nevada’s sports books.
When mixed martial arts (MMA) was a fledgling sport, Nevada took the lead by regulating MMA and bringing it under the Nevada Athletic Commission. In the 15 years, MMA has grown significantly and has brought tremendous income to the state of Nevada.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which is the premier MMA organization in the world has its headquarters in Las Vegas and regularly holds MMA events in Vegas.
Kieckhefer has proposed for a three member Nevada eSports commission to be established and for it to be under the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. The eSports commission will be responsible for regulating and overseeing all eSports tournaments in the state and will require eSports players to register for any tournament that has a prize pool over $1,000.
The new bill will help Nevada develop into the biggest eSports hub in the world and will also help boost tourism numbers as eSports has a massive fan following around the world, especially with the younger generation.
$15 Billion Wagered Globally on eSports
Nevada’s sports betting market will also see a big uptick in revenues once the eSports industry is regulated in the state. Kieckhefer pointed out that global eSports betting brings in over $15 billion which makes the eSports industry the seventh biggest sports industry in the world in terms of betting revenue, equivalent to tennis and golf.
More than 5,300 eSports tournaments took place around the world in 2019 and over 27,000 players took part both offline and online in these tournaments. Millions of viewers watched these eSports tournaments and those numbers are expected to climb. Reports show that despite the COVID-19 situation in 2020, eSports brought in a total of $950 million in combined revenues and will surpass $1.6 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2023.